In my last blog I shared about my trade-off with fellow photographer, Sarah and showed you her gallery... this week, it's my turn!
This post comes with trigger warnings; Eating Disorders and addictions
Before the deep stuff, here's a reminder from Sarah's session.
I have ARFID (Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder)
I spent my childhood mostly eating chicken nuggets and super noodles, because that’s all my mum could get me to eat (and when I say childhood, I actually mean until around the age of 18). She told me stories about my refusal to even open my mouth when she tried to feed me certain foods like egg (I still hate egg).
When I moved away from home, I knew it would be hard, new responsibilities, unusual experiences, you know how it goes.
Never did I think it would result in ANOTHER eating disorder 3 years down the line….
Let me back track, I moved in with a guy, it was great, he introduced me to new foods, asked me to try things I never would have otherwise, however, he often made comments about what I ate (he was right, I didn’t have a healthy diet), unfortunately this led to me eating as much as I could fit in when he was working… thus triggered the binge eating disorder (I don’t blame him, I’m simply explaining what went on in my life to get me to this point).
I moved back home in December 2016 and continued to try new foods, I’m now a firm fan of mashed potato, Cottage Pie and can eat onions (these were a HUGE no due to their textures for my whole life up until this point)
Until the end of November this year, I didn’t even know that binge eating was a disorder! Turns out not many people do. I’m not unhealthily skinny (I’m actually obese and gaining weight rather quickly), I don’t purge, I don’t do it in secret… it goes against everything I “know” about eating disorders, and this is exactly why I’m sharing this with you all.
It was this photoshoot that made me realise how serious things have gotten (I fucking LOVE these photos, let me make that clear) ….
Firstly, I have gained a lot of weight, quickly, which has heavily affected my health.
Secondly, when I miss ONE meal (or even eat it late), my body reacts pretty severely... I’d always assumed this was normal until this photoshoot. I had breakfast around 8am, got to Sarah’s in Leicester by 11am and in the excitement of everything, I forgot to stop for lunch. I’d had tea and biscuits whilst having my hair and makeup done. At around 3pm, mid-way through my photoshoot we had to stop because I almost passed out.
There are so many variations to all eating disorders and it is ok to ask for help! I have been referred to someone who specialises in eating disorders, as well as a 12-week health programme on the NHS. I have no idea if either of these things will work but I’m sure as fuck going to try anything.
“But you're supposed to be a body positive activist…. You shouldn’t want to lose weight”
Let’s get something straight. I am fucking beautiful, blue eyes, long lashes, fair completion and curves for days; however, my body is suffering.